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Minister reminds childcarers of key early-years responsibility

Public health minister Jane Ellison MP has told childminders and other early-years practitioners that they have a key role to play in ensuring a healthy start for children and helping government improve life chances.

“You are key influencers; you are trusted voices in the ear of parents and you are making a real difference in the lives of children, but we want to see how we can go further... we want to see a whole generation of children grow up healthier,” she said.

Ellison was speaking to a packed auditorium at 4Children’s national conference Healthy Children, Bright Futures: Addressing Key Health Issues for Under-fives - held in London in June.

She also highlighted the importance of “reshaping the world around children to make the healthier choice, the easier choice,” giving the introduction of the sugar tax as an example.

The minister indicated that the long-awaited childhood obesity strategy will come out later in the summer and said that she viewed physical activity in the under-fives as “really important” and described it as “the fun bit of the healthy agenda.”

Ellison said that as part of the strategy government is looking at a range of factors including potentially supporting the early-years workforce to become healthier in a similar way to initiatives with the NHS workforce.

Ellison, pictured, said “As adults there are choices we make, but we [government] also recognise it is hard and so we want to support adults, and not just children to be healthier.”

July 2016